Over Labor Day weekend I luxuriated in the VIP of the North Coast Music Festival thanks to my press pass. One of the perks was access to the VIP section in the crowd for every stage. You can see it on the map displayed here- it's basically the front left (if you're standing on the stage) section of the crowd, off the corner of the stage. So I checked out a few of DJ's, namely Paul Oakenfold, Axwell, Steve Angello and Alesso. I'm far from an expert on techno music but I also recently saw David Guetta and I remember being two inches from the stage for Benny Benassi last year as well, so I've at least seen a few.
But since a DJ has so fewer moving parts than, say, Guns N Roses, there isn't nearly as much of a visual spectacle to see and that results in two things: 1) DJ's trying their best to show their physical exuberance in an attempt to make their work both sonically and visually impressive. And, 2) If you're a bad dancer like me you just watch the DJ and start to pick up on things. Especially when you're so close you can't see their light show properly anyway.
1. Oh my GOD!!!! I'm about to turn this knob!!!!!!!!
You know this one. They turn their elbow egregiously out while their jaw falls agape coyly like they're about to release a cubic ton of $100 from the rafters in a second but no one knows it but him.Then they open their mouth fully and turn the knob.
2. BOOM! I just turned that knob, motherf*%ker!!
Finally, the sweet catharsis of the knob turning as we are hit with the new sound. While this is happening, one popular DJ move is for the DJ to punch the air, and make a gesture as to tell the crowd, "I told you I was gonna turn that knob! BOOM! Then what happened?? BOOM! You're damn right I was right to make a big deal about turning that knob!"
3. The Post-Knob Step Back
When some football players score they do a choreographed endzone celebration, while others just hand the ball to the referee. The DJ version of the later is the gentlemanly turn the knob and take a step back. Not only do they want to give the crowd a chance to bask in the new sound, but they're probably pretty ready for a break after turning that knob.
4. I AM YOUR GOD!!!
At some point just about every DJ does that one. It's the both hands up, "PRAISE ME!!!" pose. The I AM YOUR GOD above is courtesy of David Guetta.
5. The Stand Back and Clap Along With the Crowd
Even though they are not doing sign language, what they are really telling us with their hands is something like, "I'm just gonna clap right along with you guys. Hey, I'm just a fan too, man. And let's face it this is awesome music. Ok, enough clapping time to get back to the turntables."